- We're here to help. . .
- Are you overwhelmed by the district’s mandates related to your content area or instructional implementation?
- Have you recently received administrative feedback that was a surprise to you?
- Are you looking to refine or polish your teaching craft? Do you need support?
- What is the Peer Assistance Program?
The Peer Assistance program is a cooperative partnership between the Boston Teachers Union and the Boston Public Schools. In existence since 2007, it is designed to improve and support the teaching performance of permanent teachers. Participation by teachers is voluntary and is not mandated.
- Is the Peer Assistance Program for you?
We provide confidential support for permanent teachers. We work with two main groups of teachers. If you have received a “Does Not Meet Standards” formal evaluation, your principal, colleagues or building representative may recommend the program to assist with implementation of any existing prescriptions and/or recommendations. The program is also available for teachers who would like to continue to refine and improve any aspect of their practice, such as a focus on lesson planning, classroom management and assessment.
- About our work
Each Peer Assistant (PA) provides support for permanent teachers who are experiencing difficulties in the class-room. In cooperation with the principal, the PA and the participating teacher identify areas needing improvement. The PA develops specific performance goals and is capable of giving on-site support while monitoring the progress of the teacher. Additionally, the PA and the classroom teacher co-develop a plan to improve performance. The PA helps the classroom teacher to improve lesson planning, classroom management and instructional strategies. The PA may conference, model, co-teach, and/or observe as part of the support provided to the classroom teacher. The Peer Assistant works with a maximum of 12 permanent teachers from across the district.
An essential part of a PA’s role is to establish and maintain a trusting, confidential, non-evaluative and professional relationship with the participating teachers.
We realize that each teacher’s situation is different, together we might:
- Focus on the Eight Dimensions of Effective Teaching
- Reflect to increase student engagement and learning
- Find and create teaching resources and materials
- Collaborate with other teachers and school leaders.
Together we will decide the length and focus of our work.
- Who are the Peer Assistants?
We are experienced and certified BPS teachers with ten or more years of classroom experience. We have been trained to support teachers using best practices as identified by the Boston Public Schools. We are active learners who stay current with professional development priorities in education.
- What else do I need to know?
Participation in the Peer Assistance program does not interrupt or replace the evaluation process. The priority and intent of the program is to focus on learning and student success.
PLEASE NOTE: Boston also offers a Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) Program that provides a consulting teacher that will serve as both your coach and your primary evaluator. If you’re interested in PAR, please visit bostonpar.wordpress.com or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- How do I sign up or get more information?
If you or anyone you know might benefit from participating in the program, email Michael McLaughlin at email@example.com.
Or fill out the interest form on the left side of the front page of My Learning Plan. You can also request an informational brochure from your building representative or from the BTU main office.